CEM REPORT | The African Development Bank (AfDB), has said it is ready to help Nigeria produce 9.5 million metric tons of food.
Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), disclosed this in a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, while briefing him on the steps taken by AfDB to avert a food crisis in Africa, in the foreseeable future.
Adesina, former Minister of Agriculture under the Goodluck Jonathan administration, said at least 5 million smallholder farmers in Nigeria would be helped to cultivate one million hectares of maize, one million hectares of rice, and two hundred and fifty thousand (250,000) hectares of sorghum and soybeans, respectively during the rainy season.
“In total, our support will help Nigeria to produce 9.5 million metric tons of food.”
He further identify the states to benefit from the assistance to include Kano, Ogun, Oyo, Kaduna, Imo, Cross River, and the Federal Capital Territory.
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Furthermore he said, the AfDB has made provision of $1.5 billion for the Africa Emergency Food Plan. As measures to relief the effect of the Russia-Ukraine war.
“The AfDB had developed a $1.5 billion Africa Emergency Food Plan, which is now before the bank’s Board for approval.
“We were not ready for COVID-19, but we are now planning to avert food crisis on the continent. There is plan to help farmers cultivate wheat, maize, rice, sorghum, and soybeans. It will mitigate the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war.”
He also noted that the price of wheat had already gone up about 60%, while maize and other grains will soon be affected.
“Already, the price of wheat has gone up about 60%. Maize and other grains will also be affected. There may be fertilizer crisis, as there would be about 2 million metric tons deficit. And that will affect food production by about 20%. Africa will lose $11 billion worth of food, and coming shortly after COVID-19, that would be rather serious.”
He also outcried the risk of fertilizer crisis in Africa which will cause about 2 million metric tons deficit.
Recall that CEM reported earlier that the President World Bank Group, David Malpass, said that developing countries especially in Africa are faced with sudden price increases for fertilizer and food, among others, due to the war in Ukraine and Covid-19 related shutdown.
The World Bank had earlier urged advanced countries to keep markets open, remove trade barriers also aid in creating safety net for countries who depend largely on food import.
Ukraine is a key source of grain while Russia is a major producer of energy and fertilizer needed for agriculture, and the war is creating sudden shortages of energy, fertilizer, and food.